In early March of this year, Dawn, 43, received sobering news that her mother Barbara was diagnosed with lung cancer. Only eleven days later, she made the decision to sign up for the American Lung Association's May ‘Fight for Air' Walk in Philadelphia. "I knew I needed and wanted to do something," she said. "It helped me process my mom's diagnosis."
Together with a circle of family and friends, Dawn's team, 'Breathe 4 Bubba' --; a take on her mother's nickname, raised roughly $4,500 to support the lung health programs of the ALA. She was the walk's top individual fundraiser, bringing in an amount slightly less than $2,700.
Although raising awareness on asthma, COPD, and other lung disease as well as preventing children from smoking is important to Dawn, she also sees how important air quality is to her mother, in the wake of her illness and also, everyone at large.
"Clean air in general is going help with any lung disease. Anything we can do for our environment is going to help everyone," she says. "Together we're doing our best to fight for clean air...;no one fights alone in that aspect."
Dawn's mother, who also suffers from asthma and emphysema, is medically stable - for now. After undergoing surgery on her right lung in July, doctors have confirmed there are no more cancerous cells, but have instructed her to do another round of chemotherapy and radiation.
"It's been a long five months," says Dawn. "It's definitely a miracle. She's breathing on her own now. But now we need to make sure she and others have clean air to breathe. "